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    SEC Women's Tennis Weekly Notebook

    The Alabama women’s tennis team (5-2) avenged its loss to No. 10 Virginia last week by beating the Cavaliers, 4-3, in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The Crimson Tide took a 3-0 lead in the match before Virginia came back to tie it at 3-3. The clincher would come from junior Emily Zabor, who came back from a first-set loss, and a 5-3 deficit in the third set to win 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(2) on court five. Alabama also had dominating singles wins from junior Luicelena Perez, 6-0, 6-2, and freshman Danielle Spielmann, 6-1, 6-3. In doubles, the Tide’s 20th-ranked duo of sophomore Maya Jansen and freshman Erin Routliffe knocked off the No. 3 team in the nation of sophomore Julia Elbaba and freshman Rachel Pierson, 8-5, while senior Mary Anne Daines and Spielmann dominated on court two with an 8-2 victory over sophomores Stephanie Nauta and Maci Epstein. Next up, Alabama travels to Montgomery, Ala., for the annual Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, which will be played Feb. 21-23.
    The No. 44 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team hosted two of the nation’s top 30 teams in Fayetteville, Ark., this past weekend. The Razorbacks were defeated in a pair of 5-2 losses, first to No. 24 Oklahoma on Friday and then No. 30 Purdue on Sunday. Kimberley-Ann Surin and Brittany Huxley highlighted the weekend for UA, as the Razorback duo captured a pair of upset victories in doubles play. The two upset ITA National Rankings No. 31 Ritchie/Lancaster of Oklahoma on Friday, then took down Purdue’s No. 51 pair of Schmidt/Kapitany on Sunday. The Razorbacks enjoy a bye in scheduling this week before returning to action Feb. 28 when they open SEC play on the road at Vanderbilt.
    Auburn (8-1) went 4-0 on the road last weekend in New Orleans as the Tigers wrapped up their non-conference road slate. The Tigers opened up play on Friday with a 7-0 win over Southern and a 4-2 victory at Tulane. On Saturday, Auburn swept Northwestern State 4-0 and toppled Nicholls State 4-1. Junior Jen Pfefiler went 3-0 in singles on the weekend and has won five straight matches. In doubles, Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller moved to 7-0 in dual match play, while Jackie Kasler and Pfeifler added three wins. For the second straight season, Auburn has jumped out to an 8-1 start. The Tigers return to action on Friday at the Blue Gray Classic in Montgomery, Ala.
    The Gators have three big matches on this week’s schedule, first playing host to instate rival Florida State on Tuesday. UF then heads West and faces Saint Mary’s on Saturday, followed by a showdown on Sunday against No. 2 Stanford. The Gators sport a 124-match home winning streak entering Tuesday’s match, as well as a 19-match win streak against instate foes. Brianna Morgan has won 16 consecutive singles dual matches. Olivia Janowicz has won a team-best 24 singles matches, while freshman Kourtney Keegan as earned a team-leading 22 wins on the doubles court.
    The Georgia women’s tennis team had the week as it prepares to host Furman Friday  before traveling to in-state rival No. 21 Georgia Tech on Sunday. The Bulldogs landed three in the Top-20 of the latest singles rankings (No. 6 Silvia Garcia, No. 7 Lauren Herring and No. 17 Maho Kowase). It is the only school to have three players ranked in the Top-20 of the singles rankings.  Lilly Kimbell rounded out the Bulldog contingent at No. 43. In doubles, the pair of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase held steady at the No. 5 spot, and Lilly Kimbell and Mia King came in at No. 52.
    The No. 38 University of Kentucky women’s tennis team went 3-1 this past week, notching wins over Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee State and Ohio State. Kentucky was handed their second loss of the season when they traveled to Indiana. No. 56 Nadia Ravita has defeated two ranked opponents in the No. 1 singles position, No. 78 Gabrielle De Santis from Ohio State and No. 65 Katie Klyzcek from Indiana University- Bloomington. Senior Caitlin McGraw clinched a huge win for Kentucky over non-conference rival Ohio State. In their 4-2 win, Kentucky showed how much they’ve improved since last season. McGraw, along side CeCe Witten, claimed the doubles point and gave UK an early lead. The Wildcats dropped two matches, but came out on top. Against Indiana, Kentucky took the doubles point, but fell flat in singles with only two wildcats winning matches. The Hoosiers tallied four straight points to defeat the Wildcats. Kentucky moves to 9-2 on the season. The team returns to Lexington on Feb. 22 to finish off their non-conference schedule against Kansas.
    The No. 58 LSU women’s tennis team went 3-0 this weekend as they defeated No. 59 South Florida on Friday and No. 72 Northwestern State and McNeese State on Sunday.  The Lady Tigers were tied 3-3 on Friday when Skylar Holloway mounted an impressive comeback, battling from being down 5-2 in the third set and going on to win a tiebreaker round to secure the 4-3 victory for LSU.  Holloway and Abigail Owens each notched two wins on Sunday, leading the Lady Tigers to a 5-0 win over Northwestern State and a 5-2 victory over McNeese State.
    Ole Miss
    After two weeks off, the No. 33 ranked Rebels (3-1) are back in action this Friday hosting a doubleheader against Lipscomb University beginning at 12 p.m.  It will mark the first outdoor match of the season.  The Rebels downed Lipscomb 4-0 last year in Nashville.  On Sunday, the Rebels will welcome No. 31 Memphis to the tennis center at Noon.  All three of the Rebels’ wins so far this season have been shutouts.  Head coach Mark Beyers needs just two wins to record his 200th career coaching victory.
    Mississippi State
    The Mississippi State women’s tennis team took their second road trip of the season, traveling to Houston, Texas to face Stephen F. Austin and No. 66 Houston. The Bulldogs started off the weekend on Friday with an impressive 5-2 win over Stephen F. Austin, taking the doubles point and four singles matches, with their only losses coming on courts 5 and 6. The Bulldogs closed out the weekend giving a hard-fought effort on Sunday against Houston, but fell 5-2. Seniors Rosie Dion and Alexandra Perper made it through the weekend with their perfect records in tact, as Dion moved to 6-0 on the season and Perper to 5-0. The Bulldogs are now 4-2 overall and will return home to face Jackson State on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in the first ever meeting between the two schools. MSU will also host Alabama State and Alcorn State in a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 22 to close out non-conference play.
    Mizzou suffered a 6-1 loss at the hands of Wichita State on Feb. 16. Sophomore Kelli Hine posted Missouri’s lone win to earn her team-leading fourth singles victory of the spring. Missouri stays on the road for three duals in Florida this weekend. The Tigers first take on Central Florida on Friday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. Mizzou then plays a double header on Sunday, Feb. 23, with a matchup at South Florida at 11 a.m. ET and a 6 p.m. ET dual against Oakland in Orlando, Fla.
    South Carolina
    The No. 32 South Carolina women’s tennis team lost to instate rival and 12th-ranked Clemson on Feb. 16 by a 5-2 score in Columbia. The Gamecocks stand 6-2 heading into this Friday’s doubleheader against South Carolina State and North Florida. Carolina faces William & Mary on Sunday in its final non-conference match of the season. Senior Katerina Popova entered the ITA rankings for the first time this spring last week in a tie for 69th. South Carolina has one other ranked player with freshman Brigit Folland, who played the No. 1 singles position for the first time in her career versus Clemson. Folland is ranked 112th. Popova holds the team’s best record in dual matches this season with a 6-1 mark and she is 4-0 at No. 2 singles. Folland and fellow freshman Caroline Dailey lead the squad in overall singles wins with 12 each. Popova is currently riding a five-match winning streak, while junior newcomer Meghan Blevins has won four in a row.
    The Lady Vols went 2-1 on the weekend hosting No. 21 Georgia Tech, Belmont and Chattanooga at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. UT fell 5-2 to Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon but swept in-state opponents in Belmont and Chattanooga Sunday as co-head coach Mike Patrick celebrated career wins Nos. 499 and 500.  Patrick, who is in his 30th season as a head coach, 27th at Tennessee, becomes just the 10th Division I tennis coach to hit the 500-win mark. He currently boasts a 500-294 career record. The veteran earned his 444th career win while at the University of Tennessee, he previously accumulated 47 wins as the women’s head coach at Kentucky (1984-86) and nine as the head coach of the Arkansas men (1987). Patrick began his career at Tennessee in the 1988 season. Freshman Eve Repic went undefeated on the weekend at No. 1 singles winning all three matches including a victory over ranked Kendal Woodard of Georgia Tech. Freshman Laurence Guevremont also went undefeated with wins at No. 6 and No. 4 singles to remain undefeated in dual match play.  The Lady Vols return to action this weekend in their first road matches in nearly a month when they take on Ohio State and No. 36 Indiana. The weekend will begin Friday, February 21 at 4 p.m. In the Buckeye State followed by an 11 a.m. match on Sunday, February 23 to close out the weekend in Bloomington.
    Texas A&M
    No. 11 Texas A&M blanked Sam Houston State, 7-0, on Sunday to improve to 5-2 on the season. It was the 50th win at A&M for head coach Howard Joffe who is in his third season as the Aggie skipper. He also improved to 98-50 in the seventh year of his head coaching career and will go for No. 99 as the Aggies play host to former Big 12 Conference foe and 18th-ranked Baylor Thursday at 4 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The match against Baylor will be the Aggies’ final tune-up before beginning SEC play at No. 5 Florida on Feb. 28. A&M has three players listed in the ITA singles rankings: No. 19 Cristina Stancu, No. 47 Saska Gavrilovska and No. 103 Anna Mamalat. In doubles, Stancu and Stefania Hristov are No. 18 and Rutuja Bhosale and Ines Deheza are No. 56. In dual matches only, Gavrilovska and Hristov lead the Aggies in singles victories with identical 5-1 records, while Hristov and Stancu’s 4-2 record tops the team in doubles.
    The 15th-ranked Vanderbilt women’s tennis team had a perfect 2-0 weekend coming off a disappointing performance at National Indoors. The Commodores first took down 18th-ranked Baylor 4-3 Saturday, before defeating No. 17 Texas by the same score on Sunday. In each match the Commodores won the doubles point, but fell behind with early losses in singles. No. 124 Courtney Colton earned the clinching point against the Bears at the No. 3 position, while Marie Casares, at No. 5, clinched for Vandy over the Longhorns. Vanderbilt will host Memphis on Friday for its 2014 home opener.